John acquired his Austin-Healey just over a year ago. It was a car that he’d always wanted to own and when he spotted it for sale on TradeMe, he knew this one was for him as he’d always had a soft spot for the 100, the very first Austin-Healey.

“I have always admired the 100’s shape,” said John. “The large swooping rear overhang contrasting with the zero-overhang bluff front. It’s the classic shape of a 1950s sports car. The sloping windscreen and absence of external door handles, both unique to the 100, add to the drama. The 100 was a car I’d always liked even before I thought I was ever going to get one. I do like the 3-litre but the 100 – to me, it’s unadulterated. That’s how an Austin-Healey is supposed to be. And that fold-down screen is the thing – really, that’s the kicker! As Healey said back in the 1950s, ‘perfect for high speed runs.’”

However, John pointed out that the last thing you’d want to do at 100mph would be to fold down that screen unless you’re up for wearing a pair of goggles – or like the taste of bugs!

As you’d expect, the Healey’s TradeMe auction attracted a good number of watchers, but it seemed to John that most of those interested in the car didn’t appear to be backing up their interest with dollars. That was possibly because the car, although having been treated to a full nut-and-bolt restoration in the 1980s, was not a runner.

Gerry Coker came up with the look of this iconic British sports car – and got it absolutely right

Keen to acquire a car he’d always admired, John bit the bullet and purchased the 100. At that stage, he discovered that the car had originally been purchased in neglected condition prior to its restoration by the previous owner, Murray Binning. Sadly, after he’d passed away, the car had been stored, unused, by his widow. At first it was regularly warranted and registered, but as time passed by that came to an end, and when John acquired the car the last WOF sticker affixed to the Healey’s windscreen dated back to the late 1990s.

“I remember thinking that I was lucky the car was restored in the 1980s,” said John. “If the work was being done today, I’m sure it would’ve been done to a more advanced template. But because the restoration work was completed decades ago, it was pretty much rebuilt as it was when it originally came from the factory, including such things as being fitted with skinny tyres.”


To read this and other articles on the Classic Driver website please click here to sign up for a membership. Once a member and logged in, you'll be able to read all the articles on the site. If you are already a paid up member, please log in, using the Log In link in the menu at the top of the page.